Count on Me
September 1, 2017
I remember back when my children had their first day of school. It was tense and there was a lot of anxiety for both parent and child. There’s a worry when you send your children off to school, when they begin to be influenced by others. Gradually, the balance of the world outside your family unit begins to shift. Experiences, interactions, even decisions about your children — they start to feel less in your control, compared to when they were infants. All parents should believe that when they send their kids off to school, that their children will encounter caring, professional, and engaging people… as well as kind and helpful classmates. Parents hope that every person their child interacts with has their best interests at heart. I think this is where this blog post is coming from… from the heart.
For the parents who drop their kids off at school and work a long hard day, you can count on us to care for your children and nurture their academic, social, and emotional growth. For the kids who are high-achieving and need to be challenged, you can count on us to deliver instruction that takes into account their strengths. For the kids who find school challenging, you can count on us to scaffold material and support so that school feels like a place where they belong.
You’ll see our teachers wearing shirts this year that support this message: “Count On Me.” This message conveys the collective efforts and commitment of a group of people who want you to believe in the fact that they can make a difference for your children. You can count on every teacher and staff member in District 142 to carry that balance of worry you experience when you entrust your child to us each day.
It’s really a rallying cry for a district on the move. I like the idea of not settling, of pushing the envelope a little, of doing things for our students that may be outside of the box, yet inside the heart of each child.
“Count On Me” — it just brings forth a sense of confidence. A sense that we’re in this together… that our students need us now more than ever to be present for them. At the Opening Institute for all employees I made mention of the fact that preparing students for the 21st century is almost not forward-thinking enough. The startling truth is that our current kindergarten students will be retiring from the workforce in the 2070s. Wow, we had better make sure that we are looking forward eough to prepare them for the 22nd century. We need to be there for our students today and every day. I entitle this blog, Today Matters, for many reasons, including the knowledge that at some point, we will need our children to be there for us. Today’s students will run our schools, run our government; we will need them to be prepared. Thus we take the job of educating seriously as all of our futures depend on it.
So, with determination and a sense of critical purpose, I say, “Count On Us” — Forest Ridge School District 142 — to make sure our children are taken good care of today and are prepared for the future.